Press Release

Kaiser RNs Launch Ad on Eve of ACA: Be Wary of Insurers Who Limit Access to Hospital, Nursing Care

Kaiser RNs Launch Ad Message on Eve of ACA Exchange Signups: Be Wary of Insurers Who Limit Access to Hospital, Nursing Care

As the Affordable Care Act’s insurance market exchanges opened for business Tuesday, Kaiser Permanente RNs have launched a campaign to advise enrollees to ask tough questions and be wary of enrolling in insurance plans that limit your access to a hospital and to safe nursing care.

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Sponsored by National Nurses United, the nation’s largest organization of nurses, the ads are running in a variety of internet forms and sites Monday in the mid-Atlantic region of the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia.

The ad campaign coincided with picketing by Kaiser RNs at three Northern California hospitals Monday where nurses and patients are experiencing first hand how Kaiser, an industry model for care delivery under the ACA for which Kaiser lobbied, is restricting patient access to hospital care.

Kaiser, say RNs, has been making it harder for patients to be admitted for hospital care when sick or injured and sending patients to their homes or to other settings when they should still be in the hospital. As part of that shift away from hospital care, Kaiser has been reducing RN staffing in its hospitals.

“Every day we see barriers to hospital admission for sick and injured patients or patients rapidly transferred out of the hospital when their medical condition indicates they still need hospital care. The big growth industry in Kaiser seems to be case managers, overriding even decisions by primary physicians to admit patients, and discharge planners with directives to kick patients out of the hospital sooner,” said NNU Co- President Deborah Burger, a Kaiser RN.

“All of us would like to stay out of the hospital, but decisions on hospital stays should be made for clinical reasons, what’s in the best interest of individual patient need, not on how to generate ever more revenue and profits,” Burger said. “Our ad campaign and other public actions are intended to encourage people to be informed consumers, and to demand you and your family will receive the care you need, in the proper setting, when at your most sick and vulnerable.”